Fox News contributor Brit Hume said Sunday that Obamacare’s mandate that insurance companies cover those with pre-existing conditions completely undermines the concept of insurance.
“The triumph of ObamaCare is this coverage for pre-existing conditions, which basically defeats the whole idea of insurance,” Hume said. “For example, in the automobile insurance market, if you could wait till you had a wreck and then buy insurance and have the repairs covered, that’s comparable to what we’re doing here.”
He went on to say that the concept of insurance is to protect oneself from any unforeseen risks in the future, not to acquire it once one falls prey to illness. “The idea of insurance is that you purchase it to guard against risks and things that may occur in the future. It’s not that you purchase the coverage after you’re already sick,” Hume said.
Chief architect of Obamacare and current senior fellow at the Center for America Progress Ezekiel Emanuel fired back at Hume’s assertions with an example of a patient who suddenly gets cancer — a disease that can cost a family hundreds of thousands of dollars.
“If I have cancer, through no fault of my own, I didn’t hit a car, I need to have insurance to cover me. This bill does nothing for those people. It only makes the price of their insurance ever higher,” Hume said.
The Obamacare architect has proposed solutions to the problems with Obamacare, but they gravitate towards more, or total, government control of the health care marketplace.
Emanuel acknowledged there were problems with Obamacare in an August piece for The Washington Post and provided a five-pronged solution to fix them. “We should consider a public option,” he wrote, because “consumers should never be subject to the whims of insurer withdrawals or withdrawal threats.”
Unlike private insurers who have to set prices through negotiating with hospitals and physicians, publicly run insurance plans would not have the necessity to negotiate. Rather, a public option would be in the business of setting prices, not market equilibrium.
The American Enterprise Institute, a conservative think tank, has argued a public option amounts to “a government-sponsored and government-run insurance plan, probably modeled on the traditional Medicare program, which would be offered to customers on the exchanges as an alternative to the private-insurance plans.”
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